Millions of atheist scientists and other rational freethinkers know full well, through the application of unbiased commonsense and the results of millions of complex experiments and the calculations of astute experimental and theoretical physicists, that we humans inhabit a tiny part of what is a vast godless universe of immense age; and that we have good reason to infer that gods exist nowhere but in the imaginations, stories and lies of faith-driven men.

So how can bible-believers seriously defend their ever-shrinking part of the world against the supreme logic produced by elite scientists when there is no case to answer? Why are there faith-believers at all?

A principal reason is that once the fictions of faith get into people’s heads it is difficult to be rid of them. Indoctrinated when young, they indoctrinate the young of their own and of others, and the cycle of merciless irrationality continues.

These dogmatic bigots never let go—and that is because they never listen, their minds are already made up, and they are incapable of understanding and absorbing new knowledge no matter how thoroughly well-tested and proven the latter may be.

Only freethinkers and scientists see the universe clearly and correctly for its materiality and man’s place in it as an evolutionary accident but a marvel nonetheless.

Religionists sink inside the mental quagmire and nightmare of their own making for it is philosophically incontestable, when the evidence is well presented and the listener has a high enough level of intelligence and freedom of thought, that gods exist nowhere but inside people’s heads—and that is that.
Terence Meaden. 27 August 2008. Planet Atheism/ Enlightened Observer

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Replies to This Discussion

I think not only is it based in fear but it is also power or to be more precise the fear of losing power. For at least 1500 years the churches have had total control over the ignorant masses and then some whack job of an inventor made a printing press. Damn them inventive people. So for the next 500 years (+/- a few hundred years) the churches have been losing power over us because we are getting smarter and smart people tend to think outside of the box. Or at least you guys, because I am only choosing free thought because it is the simplest option. In my experience I have discovered that humanity for the most part seeks the simplest and most accepted or popular route to take, there for it is simple to follow what everyone is doing around you, stepping outside the box into the unknown can cause a great amount of fear and result in a loss of social status amongst your peers. But, then think of the standards that we set for the masses, best example, to be the president of usa you have to have some love of jesus. that is the biggest conforming popularity contest of them all.

It is interesting to note (at least this is how I remember this) that science is the offspring of religion. Kabbalist begets alchemist begets chemist begets scientific method begets physical sciences begets atom bomb begets Chicken McNuggets or some thing like that...

You would think that thier god would have said Hey! Stick to bagles!! You shmuts!
I fear this will get some negative response, but isn't it possible that, other than fear and other quite plausible reasons for religion, intelligence is a big reason. Or, I should say, lack of intelligence. I don't know if this is a theory I would get behind (actually I'm quite sure fear is the number one reason), but I thought I should bring it to the discussion either way. Couldn't it be that most people don't have the mental capacity of dealing with their life without some belief in the supernatural?

Again, I can't stress enough that I post this solely to stimulate discussion, and not as an actual opinion. I think it at least deserves to be discussed.
I don't think belief has to much to do with intelligence. I consider myself below average intelligence but, a true nonbeliever. Being raised in a Catholic family, Indoctrinated in Catholic school, being an alter boy, I was able to finally understand that it was an irrational belief.

What I can't understand are how vary intelligent people can believe that a supreme being created the universe and cares about your every thought and deed.

Your point about mental capacity made me think about my severely mentally retarded brother who nether believes nor disbelieves.
Yes, go ahead when you can, Alex.
It all helps our wider, general understanding.
If it's anything like my family they go to church on Sunday Morning and night, Wednesday night, they have man's bible study once a week at the church. The women have bible study at each others homes once a week, they have a prayer circle for those in need I've been on it for a long time. They have a phone list so they can contact each other for emergency prayer needs. The young mothers all meet with there kids so they can all play together. There lives and minds are so filled with there little church and god there is no more room for anything else. There world is black and white it's either gods way or its wrong not much thinking needed.
New to this group, thank you for being welcoming to new members. I am a total amateur when it comes to philosophy, and my thoughts come from my own observations, as well as thinking in analogy to natural sciences, medicine, and technology.

I think of religious thought as being something like a living thing, which had an origin, evolved, hybridized with other ideologies, and continues to survive, evolve, and proliferate in an ecosystem that consists of human brains, social interactions, historic circumstance, technology, and mental psychopathology.

Somewhere, maybe in multiple places, maybe starting in one prehistoric tribe, the ideas of gods, angels, demons, magic, occurred in the human imagination as ways to explain and survive events in climate, nature, disease, fortune and misfortune. Individuals who did well, thought that their ideas were correct, and people who did not do well, would either not survive or would learn to imitate the beleifs of people who did. So some ideas, superstitions, religions, survived and flourished, while others died. People evolved along with their religions, so that we are the species that we are, partly because of our ancestors' thought processes, which included their religions. This could mean that our brains are 'primed' for religion. Obviously, some of us more than others.

Gradually, as tribes split off and migrated, their beliefs morphed in response to new circumstances, same as biological organisms evolve in isolation from others. Then population growth, new technology, commerce, war, resulted in mixing of diverse religions, with some being subsumed, transformed, or hybridized. While some religions prospered by consolidating all in their wake (mainly monotheisms), others tended to pop up like weeds in a lawn (cults).

This process continues today. It is so universal, I think that it is a natural part of being human - needing metaphysical explanation for circumstance. I also think that it is wrong. Just as societies developed sanitation, transportation, commerce, medicine, and science, transforming the human experience, I think that we also need to learn to transcend religion. We no longer try to cure disease with leaches and potions, and we should no longer use religion as a basis for social and political processes.

Asking for people to leave religion means that they need to learn a new way to think. Their mental ecosystem needs transformation, which takes more that telling them that they are wrong. I'm not sure what it does take, otherwise I might write a book too.

Sorry if this is too long / is a bit off topic / sounds crazy / is a rehash of something expressed before.

As an additional comment, John's thoughts about pre-existence resonates nicely. I have often thought about that as well.

Best wishes to all,

Just some brief comments. All of you have said some profoundly splendid things.

Daniel has written well indeed.
bobevt recounts what is the abject truism of religious life for so many contented believers.
Brad and Johan comment well. 'Enlightened Observer' too.

Johan introduces thoughts about 'intelligence', or as he says 'lack of intelligence'. There is something in this, if it is expressed carefully.

Certainly, atheists hold the intellectual high ground. And this is because atheism is the right way to observe and interpret life and the universe.

Religionists prostrate themselves on the intellectual low ground, because (often through little initial fault of their own [they were indoctrinated when young]) religion is the false way with which to regard the universe and the life in it.

Given absolute freedom of rational or intelligent thought, god-worshippers are able to make their escape. There are many courageous people joining Atheist Nexus who have done this. Congratulations to them.

But there are far more who are not quite intelligent enough to escape, and that is mostly because their brains are attuned to a sort of state of fear, as emphasised in the correspondence above.

It could be that if a person is intelligent enough, and able to absorb without prejudice the strength of the scientific arguments, then he/she should be able to move smoothly into atheism.

Atheism is not a belief. It is the default situation into which we are all born.

Religion is something imposed on children's open mentality by the perverse will of elders, whether parents, school, church, synagogue or mosque.

You do not have to be a scientist to understand atheism. What you need, above all, is high commonsense and an ability to accept the results of what the millions of elite scientists have discovered during the course of their hundreds of millions of experiments, particularly those carried out in the last two centuries.
Its like a virus the Christian indocrination was created at a time when an Roman Emperor Constantine I was perfecting propaganda and as the overseer of the creation of catholictism he had a lot to do in creating the virus.

1. Baby Jesus appealing story for young children
2. Jesus telling his followers to go out and bring in the sheep.
3. The scare - Revelations
4. The protective clauses
5. Chanting and singing praise
6. Fiting every festival or main religious event to the old faiths.
7. making sure its passed on from parents to children
8. Making it a social cultural belief.

Very effective and thats why its lasted for centuries and very educated people simply believe it because because of their parents and cultural peers do the same.

Very powerful stuff built on the imaginary platforms of yester years.
When thinking about how many thousands of years ago humans have created gods, it is not surprising, that they don't want to let go of their comfort blanket. All religions are similar, when it comes to their important dates (solstice, Christmas, Easter, equinox etc). So there was in fact an "original" religion, and others copied what they wanted and added what they deemed necessary.

My 8 year old daughter, who is a declared atheist, said to me the other day "You know, Mom, I can somehow understand those people who believe in a god. They feel like there is a big man in the sky who takes care of them. That must feel really good to them. Why would they want to give up this comforting belief?" Smart little girl, don't you think?
Your daughter is astute.
You are bringing her up with the right attitudes towards sense and understanding.
Well done.
Yes, I think that you are mostly correct, Dr. Terence Meaden, in the theme of your statement. We differ in thinking regarding some of the details. I wish I could agree that there are "millions" of atheist scientists. I also wish I could find evidence of "unbiased common sense" in myself much less anyone else, but I find that getting clear of one's programming is a bit more complicated that I had thought. Nonetheless, your point, that evidence to the contrary is irrelevant to believers is accurate. I'm not so sure about your "principal reason"--that difficulty in ridding oneself of beliefs is a reason for believers to disregard logical evidence. Seems a bit of circular logic to me, that. And then you say that they don't let go because they don't listen. I think they do listen. I don't think they are "incapable of understanding." I think we need to assume that they choose--actively choose--to ignore the evident in favor of something that they value more. ("Ignorant" doesn't just mean not knowing; it means actively ignoring, in my view.)
{Minor quibble: "man's place" --> humankind's place ?} So to understand them, we need to ask, "What is it that they value more than reason?"

They value belonging, a sense of place, a sense of order, an illusion of control, a sense of justice, an absence of existential fear, community, law, and more. Their religion gives them all this. What do we offer them? We offer them a bunch of frightening truths: the frightening truth that we are one possible outcome of evolution, and at this moment, a danger to ourselves and other life forms; the frightening truth that we are insignificant to the universe as a whole and do not matter; the frightening truth that we have not evolved enough to govern ourselves individually but must enter a precarious balance of individual and society to govern ourselves as a group--with limited success, arguably. And so on. You and I choose those truths. But I can see the "reason" in choosing religion.
Being indocrinated into a religion in the early learning stages as an infant, as one grows it then becomes part and parcel to your culture as in your social circle everyone has this belief so it must be right.

The more deep and frequent the indocrination is the less likely one questions the faith installed. Made harder by special and clever factors of fear of non belief and god works in mysterious ways so we should not question.

If scientific fact is added to your learning stage later one as two choices to believe the science is wrong or open up your mind and become a free thinker. Some religions indocrination make the later near impossible others or in a looser culture allow you more freedom to explore and develop free thought.

We should never blame the highly indocrinated for lack of free thinking or disrespect them for their indocrination its the religion itself and its planed virus like programming that is the root of the problem.

We can only show the way to free thinking and lead the horse to water if possible, as the horse has it nose blocked with scent of a different nature and its a very powerful and very addictive. It's called heaven and the water smells like hell.




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